Hi, I have been asked to make a ring from a 12.5 gram (nearly half
an ounce) piece of gold the customer got from an Australian gold
mine. I thought I could pour a square bar and hammer it into a
half-round steel swage block for a simple gold ring, or alloy it
with copper and silver to make 18k or something, to make a couple
The piece of gold has been melted by someone into a roundish shape
and hammered crudely. This set me off wondering about a few things.
Firstly, it has cracked badly at one part of the edge, where a
small part of the surface is crazed with fine cracks. Hmmm.
Obviously not pure 24k, wouldn’t you agree?
Then I phoned a jeweller friend in Queenstown where in the 1860s
there was (as you all know) one of the world’s biggest gold
strikes, and where today prospectors are still finding gold. Colin
quite often works the local gold. He says the gold I have seems
ranges from about 92% pure to a high of 98% pure. He uses local
gold only if it looks like it’s not pale from mercury.
He melts the gold with the flux recommended by Tim McCreight (p5
The Complete Metalsmith) for gold: powdered charcoal and ammonium
chloride (sal ammoniac), or another, 1 part potassium nitrate
(saltpetre) 2 parts potassium carbonate. The flux I use when
soldering and alloying is a modern industrial ‘easiflo’ powder type
used with silphos, easiflo, and such. I also use phosphorus
deoxidiser in melts and alloying in the form of tily pellets of
What advice do you have for me?
- Melt it down with flux a few times?
- Melt it down with phosphorus deoxidiser?
- Leave it alone, as there might be mercury and other stuff in it?
Looking forward to your combined wisdoms.
B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/ NEXT - Queenstown Mar 1998
http://www.adam.co.nz/ruthbaird/ across the bench from me